Alibaba’s Jack Ma Tells U.S. Companies to Stop Whining About China

Magnate tells firms to ‘follow the rules’ and plan for the long term

Companies that struggle here may simply not be taking the right approach, Mr. Ma said Tuesday at a prominent internet forum.

“I gave advice to Jeff Bezos 10 years ago,” Mr. Ma said, referring to Inc.’s chief executive. “I said: ‘Please send people with entrepreneurial spirit, not professional management. Because wherever you go, doing business in another country is very difficult.’”

.. “Give me five examples of Chinese companies that succeed in America,” he said. “Or Asian companies that succeed in America. Because it’s not easy to do business across nations, it takes time.”

.. Mr. Ma’s comparison is flawed, said Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He said American firms have been active in China for a long time, while Chinese companies are just making inroads in the U.S.

.. Mr. Ma said foreign firms must be prepared to abide by China’s laws and not expect quick success.

“When you determine to come, prepare for it. Follow the rules and laws and spend 10 years,”

.. Facebook and Google cannot be accessed in China without VPNs, but both companies have been exploring ways to increase their presence here.